Insights-driven Leadership

Best Practice: a manufacturer increases its innovation speed

dormakaba combines new technologies with its physical products and advances to a service provider. How the company can maintain its innovation speed.

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From a manufacturer to a digital service provider

The digitization of the value chain is crucial to renovate established business models with data-based services or to develop entirely new ones.

The fast and customer-oriented implementation of digital transformation is a critical success factor for almost all industries. It is the answer to a highly competitive, extremely dynamic market and the increase in customer expectations. It is crucial to combine new technologies in such a way that they make the everyday life easier for consumers.

How dormakaba uses technology

Dormakaba is an excellent practice example to illustrate how a manufacturer can intelligently combine existing technologies and offer its customers a high level of customer benefit with data-based services.

The company has established itself on the market as a manufacturer of doors and locking systems over the years. In 2015, the two companies Dorma and Kaba merged to step up their presence in the market with shared power and industry-specific expertise. Today, Dormakaba is one of the leading providers in the market for access control and security solutions. The fact that the company is successfully driving innovation is also evident in its nomination as one of the top 100 most innovative global companies in the Thomson Reuters ranking in 2018.

With the emergence of new digital possibilities and an ever faster changing market, Dormakaba used the opportunities brought by digitization. The changing customer needs urged the company to look into new business models. In particular, the possibilities offered by data-based services.

The company addressed the questions: How can we differentiate ourselves from other providers? How do customer expectations and needs change with digitization? How can we react to that? The questions were not about the mere use of new technological developments in products or services, the company was primarily concerned with meeting the needs of existing and future customer needs.

A digital platform for easy access control management

Dormakaba developed the digital platform exivo taking into account the following considerations. It connects all locks to each other independently of the choice of medium (whether electronic door fittings, access readers for batches, codes or mechanical and digital cylinders) and digitally releases access authorizations. The platform works very similar to web-based cloud solutions, which allow administrators to assign and manage rights and roles.

With the digital platform, dormakaba simplifies securing doors, managing keys, and access authorizations. Users can centrally secure all rooms in accordance with internal security regulations. Operation via access media ensures high flexibility and a high level of security, since the access rights of each employee can be changed or revoked at any time.

When developing the platform, dormakaba took into account the need of many companies for cloud-based platforms - this means that users do not incur any additional costs for the support and maintenance of a server or software. It is easy for the specialist partners to plan, configure and install the access systems. All accesses are connected to the platform and can also be controlled and monitored from there. The assembly of the locks and the commissioning of the entire system is designed for maximum simplicity, and usability, so that users can quickly access the security system.

Dormakaba was one of the first companies in the market to take advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT) opportunities. With the exivo platform, the company has set a foot into the digital future. For this purpose, it looked at the usability of any other web-based software with roles and rights. It managed to combine exactly this principle with its physical product world.

Maintaining the innovative lead with customer feedback

Dormakaba has used technology to transform customer needs for convenience in access authorization management into an intelligent, convenient solution. However, to increase innovation speed in the long term, the company needs continuous access to customer expectations and needs. Such access enables the company to quickly adapt its products and services to the customers' changing needs. The company could use the principle of the feedback loop for this. This is a validated learning method that is specifically derived from customer feedback.

The feedback loop consists of the following states:

Build Measure Learn

Build: A product or a product improvement is launched

Measure: Obtaining customer feedback on the product

Learn: Knowledge is derived from the data obtained for adaptations to the product or service

Implementation of the feedback loop in exivo case

As a first step, Dormakaba defines the central interactions (Moments of Truth) of users and end consumers with exivo. It then systematically and continuously gathers feedback from users (as well as from end consumers) concerning their Customer Experience at the Moments of Truth. It uses a corresponding customer insights solution.

Example Customer Journey exivo with Moments of Truth

Dormakaba Journey

The company gains customer insights from the feedback data. This data serves the company as the basis for the further development of its services.

The more consistently the feedback loop is integrated into the product and service development, the more the company can maintain its innovation speed. The company thus follows a learning-oriented cycle that is geared to customer needs.

After a product adjustment (improvement), the effects are always measured. Did the changes have an impact? Can these adjustments meet the needs better than before? A continuous learning process is derived from the results of the impact measurement to adapt the product to the customer's wishes as quickly as possible.


With the presented build-measure-learn cycle, dormakaba reacts quickly to market changes. The products are developed in the right direction with immediate customer feedback. The company is thereby increasing the speed of innovation and expanding its competitive strength.